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ACC Roundup - Pitt Loses To NC State, UNC Rolls

The Panthers have now lost six out of seven

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Pittsburgh
Feb 17, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Justin Champagnie (11) drives to the basket against North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Jericole Hellems (4) during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. The Wolfpack won 74-73.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In Wednesday’s ACC Action, NC State nipped Pitt 74-73, UNC took out Northeastern 82-62 and the other three games were postponed.

State and Pitt were both teams that were desperate for a win and they battled down to the wire with State maintaining a consistent if thin advantage.

Pitt had a chance to win at the buzzer but Au’diese Toney blew a drive, hitting the side of the backboard and Justin Champagnie couldn’t connect on Pitt’s last chance.

Jeff Capel pointed to the team’s defense as the problem: “There wasn’t anything that was good about our defense when a team shoots 57%. We played a lot of zone because we were in foul trouble in man. They were getting the ball and pounding the basketball inside against us and getting us in a little bit of foul trouble...they were able to get the ball inside and get easy baskets. There was nothing. When a team shoots 57%, you haven’t done anything well defensively.”

Of course Pitt didn’t help itself with technicals. Capel got one, Femi Odukale got one when he pulled Jericole Hellems to the floor and, much to Capel’s irritation, Xavier Johnson got one for woofing at State’s bench. Capel: “Nothing I’ve said has worked. I’ve been telling him for 2 ½ years. Stop talking to the refs. Stop being demonstrative. Nothing we’ve said has worked.”

Pitt hasn’t beaten State since 2014, a surprising stat since State has struggled a fair amount in those seasons.

Pitt is 1-6 in the last seven games and is now just 9-8.

No great surprise that UNC beat Northeastern - it was a mismatch and the Huskies only had a couple of days to prepare.

The big men ran wild - Garrison Brooks had 11 points and 13 boards, Day’Ron Sharpe had 15 and eight, Armando Bacot had nine and eight while Walker Kessler had a solid night with 10 and seven in 12 minutes. That’s 45 points and 36 rebounds between them.

It’s not a big surprise - only one Huskie is over 6-8.

No one plays until Saturday when there’s a full slate of six games scheduled.

ACC Standings